Jay W.
Appleton, WI
Joined July 2018
Island Camping

Brunet Island State Park sits at the North West corner of the state of Wisconsin. The state park is actually an island that sits on the Chippewa and Fisher Rivers. It is connected to the mainland via small Bridge. This is very close to the city of Cornell, they have a grocery store for most of your necessities, enough to get to buy for a few days of camping there's also a mom and pop ice cream shop nearby. This park does offer two different Camp Loops the North and South. The North sits along a bay off of the Chippewa River ,many of the campsites overlook this area of water. This may sound nice but there are a lot of a echoes from your neighbors across the way. The campfires that light up the lake create pretty sight of ambiance if you can stay out there and beat the mosquitoes. The south camp is closer to the beach and also offers flush toilets and showers. The park also offers a boat landing, playground and baseball field. It should be noted that there are multiple fishing piers at this location, one at the South Campground and one at the north Campground, and there is a lot of good fishing in the area. There are some hiking trails nothing too challenging or long.This area is beautiful but the campgrounds themselves are not very kept. Other than camping on an island and having a double site as well as the wild life, I cannot say this is one of my favorites.

Entry to the Great Lakes!

Potawatomi State Park in Wisconsin sits in the northeast corner of the state in Door County Wisconsin. This is one of five state parks in the area and if you're making your way into Door County it is the first Park in Door County up Highway 42. This area of the state is the gem of Wisconsin and not just for tourist reasons. The topography in this part of the state is phenomenal. Potawatomi State Park is just before the city of Sturgeon Bay Wisconsin. This is a major port from the Bay of Green Bay into Lake Michigan. In Sturgeon Bay there are many shops, restaurants, pubs, art studios, and even a Walmart and Target if neede. The views from the shipyards can leave you in awe if this isn't a familiar sight. Potawatomi state park is the start of the Ice Age Trail which covers 1, 200 plus miles in the state. it offers modern facilities with showers and flush toilets. The showers are in the same room as the bathroom stalls. The park offers excellent hiking trails with views of ships coming and going from Lake Michigan in to Sturgeon Bay. The park offers an observation tower, once reach to the top you will have spectacular views of the Bay of Green Bay as well as the rest of Door County Wisconsin. The campgrounds are split into two sections. The Southern campground is a bit more wooded compared to the North campground, but I prefer the Northth sites as it offered more of a variety of campsites, meaning they don't all look the same. There is a camp store at the park as well as a small playground for the little ones. There are plenty of picnic areas especially on the shore but there is no beach at the park. There is a boat landing and fishing and this can be a popular spot for boaters to launch your boat.

This is a great park to start your vacation in Door County even if it's just to take in the sights. It is an even better place to stay if you want to be close to amenities but away from the tourists in the area. Amenities are not far, plan on a 5-10 min drive. This is my park of preference for camping in this area!

WOWalusing!!

Wyalusing State Park is located in the Southwest corner of Wisconsin athe the Iowa border and where the Wisconsin River empties into the Mississippi River. The views are spectacular anywhere in the park, from your campsite to picnic area! This offers more than at first sight! There is an star observatory which seems to be open on Saturday's, it was not open when I was there but information is available at the park office. There are plenty of of hiking trails and picnic areas as well. The Bluff trail was my favorite of the trails and it leads you to Treasures Cave and many spectacular views along the bluff. The park has NO SWIMMING! but does offer a boat landing and fishing pier. Be prepared to walk through knee high water if you want to use the pier! The park offers many shelters for rent as well as a playground and concession building. The concession building offers ice cream treats, shirts, sweatshirts, post cards, drinks, live bait, canoe and kayak rentals and much more,. The store does accept debit cards! There is also a camp store just before the entrance of the park which sells some necessities as well as campood for $3 compared to the parks $5. If you want more conveniences and necessities you have another 20-25 min. drive to the city of Prarie du Chein. There are some restaurants as well as a Walmart. If in Prarie du Chein you might as well take a drive over to Marquette Iowa and check out the small town and shops as well. The campgrounds here are gems! There are 2 family campgrounds, an indoor group campground, and outdoor group campground. The indoor group campground is intended for organized groups. The outdoor group is your typical group campground in grassy areas and few trees. The two family campgrounds offer showers and flush toilets. A new shower and bathroom building was constructed in2018 in the Homestead Campground. The Homestead Campground is a little more secluded with no bluff views. The 244 loop offers the best sites as the are well shaded and deep as well as wide. The Wisconsin Ridge Campground is where the views are at. It is buiser and the showers and bathrooms aren't as clean and new. This is also where the concession building is located. The view of the Wisconsin River emptying into the Mississippi, the sight of watching Bald Eagles, and beautiful sunsets might be hard to pass compared to the Homestead Campground.

Small, Quiet, Spectacular Views

Nelson Dewey State Park is located about 1 miles north of Cassville Wisconsin in the Southwestern corner of the state on the border of Wisconsin and Iowa. Across the street from the park is The Stonefield State Historic Site which is worth checking out if your visiting the park. This park is a quiet park and offers spectacular overlook views of the Mississippi River and wonderful hiking trails. When entering the park you will check in with the small but welcoming park office. This road will take you straight to the campgrounds! The group campground is on your right before just before the long climb up to the family campground and walk in sites. The group camp is primarily open camping with some trees but I would say these are some of the smaller group camps I have seen. There are pit toilets and multiple water stations on the grounds. As you climb up the hill and make it to the top, you will either take a left to the lookout areas or right toward the family campground. The family campground does have 4 walk-in sites also. I prefer to camp the 24-31 loop but I can't say this park offers the best campsites. The restroom were recently remodeled and are modern an welcoming especially the showers. The showers are in the same building and room as the restrooms but don't let that discourage you, there is still privacy. To sum this campsite up, it is smaller than its northern sister park, Wyalusing, but on a much smaller scale and much less to do. There is no boat launch or swimming and other than flush toilets and showers this campground offers the minimal. If you like small, quiet and camping this park is perfect. Just bring what you need as there is not much in the area for necessities.

Bring You Bicycle!!

Big Muskellunge Lake is one of many campgrounds situated in the North Highland American Legion State Forest and one of three in a two mile radius that offers modern facilities with showers and flush toilets. You enter this campground at the same entrance as Crystal Lake campground. The park headquarters building is at the entrance and is an excellent place to stop in and get information on all trails, campgrounds and conveniences you need. I would suggest that if you need fire wood that you purchase it at the time of check in at this building as well. They will give you a ticket for the woodshed and you will be able to pick your wood up between the hours of 4-7pm. You will drive through Crystal Lake Campground on your way to Big Musky. Big Musky is a little further back and seems to be a bit less crowded. I do prefer the atmosphere of Big Musky and camping under the Jack Pines. Big Musky has flush toilets and showers For swimming, there is a walking trail that takes you from Big Musky Campground to Crystal Lake. The lake is crystal clear as the title states! There are two beahes on the lake and parking is available at each beach incase you want to throw a picnic or bring swimming toys! Picnic tabels and grills are available at each beach. Not far from the beach there is also a wonderful nature center that can supply kids and adults with education materials and activities.You can not visit the area without bringing your bicycle! If you don't bring one you will wish you had! This is the bicycle capital area in the state!

If you need conveniences Suh as food, shopping, etc….you have multiple towns with in 10-15 min. drive. Be prepared though that they are tourist towns and traffic can be hectic at times.

Clean and Perfect

Judgr Magney was a visit for me while hiking the Superior Hiking Trail. This trail cuts through the park as part of it's 300 + mile journey through the Northeast part of the state. This park was a beautiful place for a good night rest and the free Wi-Fi was a good chance to touch base with family. The park is well layed out, the campground was well kept and facilities were immaculate! Just walking through the park was such a different feel and atmosphere than the trail itself, but you could tell that the park was going to be a gem as you followed the river into the park. This park has spectacular over looks including the famous Devil's Kettle Falls! These are a sight to see but be prepared for steps, steps and more steps. There are a couple of different views of the falls and none should be missed. The park is located of HWY 61, if you need to stop for conveniences Grand Marais is a short drive south.

Away From It All

Newport State Park is one of five State Parks as well as the northern most park on the peninsula in Door County Wisconsin . Out of the four this is my personal favorite! This park is nestled on the "quiet side" of the park on Lake Michigan. The park is more for the "rustic" type and offers many hiking and biking trails as well as swimming in the chilly Waters of Lake Michigan! The park has a beautiful park headquarters building with modern restrooms and drinking water. The park offers camping but there is no campground and all sites need to be hiked to. Some are a short distance and some may be more than a mile. Check out the map ahead of time via the website to plan your hike. You can book some of these in advance, but I have always taken my chances when I get there and pick my campsite then. When arriveing at the headquarters you will be able to see which sites are available as well as a map of where the campsites are located.

There is plenty to do in the area and modern conveniences and entertainment are not far away. If you want solitude in Door County Wisconsint, this is the place to find it!

Large and Beautiful, In the Best Area!!

Peninsula State Park is one of five State Parks in the area!! It is by far the largest and therefore also the most busiest. Book your campsites early because this is a hard park to get a campsite at on the fly. They do offer some non reservable sites but they go fast as well. This Park is off of Hwy 42 in beautiful Door County!, right on the Bay of Green Bay. There are many trails to hike and bike here, a beautiful beach, and plenty of sight seeing in the park. This park offers numerous campgrounds and each has a different atmosphere. The further from the beach the quieter it gets. The facilities are clean and showers are modern. There is a camp store located at the beach as well. The Sunset Bike Trail is a trail that travels through the park and is mostly crushed stone. Bike rentals are available in the park near the beach or just outside the park on HWY42 just across the street at a local bike store. The observation tower no longer stands at the park as it was recent taken down in 2017 due to structural issues but there are still plenty of view to see in the park without it. The Eagle hiking trail is a must and not too challenging but will lead you to some cool cave formations.

If your hoping to escape the busy park you won't have much luck outside the park. The whole peninsula is towns and villages full of shops, art studios, wineries, ice cream shops, confectionaries, restaurants and even a drive-in movie theater.. If I make it sound overwhelming, it is because it can be. But even with all this going on and a festival almost every weekend, the area and park are enough to make me come back every year..multiple times!! That isn't to say it is never quiet. If you go in the winter months or even March through May, you get a sense of what the area has to offer without the crowds. If you would like a more quiet atmosphere I would suggest other parks in the area that offer camping. Aside from park camping there are also numerous modern campgrounds available in the area. Either way you won't be disappointed with your trip to Peninsula State Park

Great Camping in the Middle of Kettle Moraine Forest

Mauthe Lake Campground is located in the Northern Kettle Moraine Forest in East/Centreal Wisconsin. This is one of my frequent visited campgrounds in the state given all the recreational trails for hiking and bicycling. The campground is clean and spread out. This campground offers some of the cleanest showers I have encountered on my camping trips. The Lake to Lake bike trail connects Long Lake Campground and Mauthe Lake Campground which is abut an 8 mile trip one way. This trail is a mix of paved, dirt, and gravel and travels through different landscape . There is a short hiking trail around Mauthe Lake that you should be able to complete in an hour at a average pace. The Ice Age Trail also runs through the park as part of its 1200 plus miles through the state. Ice cream and restaurants are close by, just follow the Kettle Moraine Scenic Drive, which takes you on a scenic rout through the North Kettle and Southern Kettle Moraine Forest. Be prepared for LOUD FROGS when attempting to sleep, if you can sleep through this noise the campground won't let you down.

Camping Options Galore! A Deep Woods Experience

This is a beautiful area to visit even if it is just for a day, but just a days visit will leave you wanting to comeback for more! The Porcupine Mountains is located in the Northwest tip of Michigans Upper Peninsula. There are multiple entrances depending on what part of the park you want to visit. One of the most popular sites in the park is Lake of the Clouds. I have never been fortunate enough to see it on a clear day in person so you may take your chances by cloud cover or the fog. There are campsites that do sit close to the lake but require a hike. This park offers many hiking trails that pass and cross numerous lakes and streams. If you are a backpacker this is an excellent place to go. I would suggest later August or Fall. The trails can be impassable at times during the late Spring and the black flies will disappear usually by August but they can stick around. Check trail conditions often!! You can either camp with your tent or rent cabins along the trail which are usually well kept, I can not say the same about the Yurt however. You should book these cabins or tent sites well in advance as this is a popular park. I prefer tent camping but on my week long hike I decided to rent cabins instead and I am glad I did. I did hike the second week of June and the trails were unkept and the tent sites were thick mud with not much of a choice but to sleep in the mud. The cabins do have wood burning stoves, beds and benches. You will have the occasional rodent but some of the cabins had traps in them and if you set one and catch one, you will be left alone for the rest of the night. I had set the trap and reset the trap twice in 30 seconds, after catching two and coming to the conclusion I could be up all night doing this, after the third trap I just left the rodent in the trap and it must have been a deterrent because I wasn't bothered the rest of the night.

I really can't say enough about this park even though my hiking experience was miserable given the trail conditions. It is a challenge to hike but with such a vast are of wilderness there is so much more to do. Near by is the Presque Isle River Campground and Scenic Area which shouldn't be missed either.

Great Views, Clean, Close to Amenities.

The Straits State Park in Michigan's Upper Penninsula sits on the North end of the Mackinaw Bridge in St. Ignace. This bridge conects Upper and Lower Michigan at the crossing of Lake Michigan and Lake Huron. This campground is clean, and well layed out with just about a campsite for the taste for everyone. From campsites on the shores of Lake Huron to open sites and wooded sites. Take the drive to the look outlook area in the park for awesome views of the Mackinaw Bridge and Mackinaw City which sits on the other side of the bridge. St. Ignace is a tourist town with lodging, restaurants, shopping and bed and breakfast inns and even a casino. There is a grocery store for your needs just before the entrance of the park. If you decide to take the 5 mile trip across the bridge to Mackinaw City, be prepared for a cost of $4 every time you cross and possibly heavy blowing winds across the bridge. There is a service at the entrance of the bridge that will drive your vehicle across for you if your feeling timid. Mackinaw City on the opposite side is definitely busy during the Summer months and more touristy feeling than St.Ignace. With plenty to do on either side quiet isn't hard to find. From visiting lighthouse's in downtown Mackinaw and another lighthouse just a short drive East of Mackinaw City at Headlands International Dark Sky Park sits McGulpin Lighthouse. You can travel North 45 mins and hit historic Sault Ste. Marie at the border of Canada and United States or visit the beautiful Tahquamenon Falls area for sights never to be forgotten.

Camping with the bare Minimum

Take a canoe down the Turtle Flambeu Flowage and you will be surprised at how many campsites are available but also you will notice most times it's like having an Island to yourself. It is relatively easy to navigate but you may want a handheld GPS if your not the best at reading maps. I wouldn't count on your phone for service. You can easily find a map on the Wisconsin DNR Website which shows an abundance of campgrounds and coordinates. It is peaceful and relaxing watching the wilderness transform hourly around you or waking up and going to sleep with the song from the Loons. It can get a little loud on weekends when you have a Flowage full of campers as noise echoes off the trees water. If your real sensetive you might get annoyed by the sounds of boats which come and go often as this is a fishing hot spot as well as many campers have motor boats instead of canoes. Overall, when your out there your feel like your on your own little piece of paradise! This is definitely a camping getaway for the romantic or family fun adventure. Don't forget a water filter for drinking water and some toilet paper for bathroom uses. All sites have a pit toilet but be aware they are not covered and your literally sitting on a toilet seat in the middle of the woods. Wildlife is abundant with Bald Eagles, Loons, deer, coyotes, and sounds of wolves. I was lucky to enjoy nice weather but can imagine watching a beautiful rain storm passing through while sipping on a cup of coffee and living on Paradise Island! These islands are all first come first serve so you take your chances but there are plenty and I have been there in the middle of July with no problem finding one.

Beautiful Lake Superior and Free History Lesson

This park is one of the best I have visited in the Nation! The scenery is unspeakable beauty. Situated on the very tip of Copper Country in Copper Harbor, Michigan and the beginning of U.S. HWY 41 that makes its way all the way to Florida! On one side of the park you have views of the vast Lake Superior and on the other is breathtaking views of Lake Fanny Hooe. This lake is beautiful especially on a clear day and seeing the reflection of trees that line the lake can take your breath away. The grounds are well kept and restrooms and showers are always clean. The park offers plenty of hiking but the area is known for it's mountain biking! This is a common sport here, you will lose count the number of mountain bikes you see, they take it seriously here. On the park grounds is an old Army fort from the Civil War era. The buildings of this fort are immaculate and very well kept. This is a self guided tour and should take an hour or more to complete depending on how much you want to learn. During the Summer months they do a reinactment of the era with a firing of the cannon every morning. For those familiar with Michigan, I would say it is similar to Fort Mackinaw on Mackinaw Island, except this is free and just as good if not a more personal experience. The only downside I have about this park is the size of the campsites are a little small for my liking and when full, campers are on top of each other and this is another mostly open campground with little if no trees sperating campers from one another. There are shops, lodging and restaurants down the road. I can say I have not been impressed with any of the restaurants but I don't rate my campgrounds based on what's available to eat, I just point it out to give a general review of the area. Copper Harbor also offers one of two shipping docks that give you a ride to Isle Royal National Park, the other is in the Houghton/Hancock area which you pass on the way into the Penninsula. Taking the trip from Copper Harbor saves about 2 hours to the Island. These trips should be booked well in advance! Enjoy riding up one side of the Peninsula and driving down the other side for a drive only made for movies! Stop for ice cream, shop for jam, and drive through the paved block downtown Calumet. While in Calumet check out some of the most historic bars for good drinks and food as well as stories from the bartenders as they do a excellent job explaining the history of the bar!

Great Location for Biking and Camping

Nice campground situated in Northern Wisconsin in the North Highland American Legion State Forest. Over 900 lakes and 225,000 acres. As you will read from my other reviews of campgrounds in this area, this is the place to be if you love camping, fishing or bicycling. This is the bicycle trail capital in the State of Wisconsin for sure! There are paved bicycle trails connecting every campground and every town. There are nature trails everywhere that vary in length. North Trout Lake is a nice lake to swim in an can get pretty wavy with good winds, swim at your own risk, the beach is Sandy but turns to rock the further you go in. This campground offers some awesome walk-in campsites situated in front of the water near the beach. There are also numerous standard sites that sit on the water but it can be tough to get one during peak season. This campground also offers good size camp sites with plenty of room to set up. . There are no showers or flush toilets at this location but the restrooms were clean and there are plenty of water pumps for fresh water. If you can live with the minimum this campground is nice. This campground is about and 18 min drive. Northeast from the tourist town of Minaqua and 7 minutes drive from Bolder Junction, another tourist town that is located just East. Bicycle trails lead you to either direction. Both towns have convinces of dining, services, and lodging if needed.

Heaven on Earth if you believe!

If you love the outdoors and love being surrounded by nature and getting lost in tranquility, this is it! Beautiful, breathtaking Tahquamenon Falls! As beautiful as it is green it is even more beautiful as you can imagine In the fall! This place has it all! There is a lower falls area and a upper falls area to this park separated by about 5 miles. You can drive to either end with a short walk after parking or you can take the North Country Scenic Trail for a relatively easy hike from one end to the other! I suggest wearing secure shoes or boots for this hike. There is a shuttle service available if you decide to hike and need a ride back to the other section. You can rent canoes or kayaks at the lower falls if you desire more adventure than just hiking. The views of the Upper Fallsalls are jaw dropping while the sunset of the Lower Falls is breathtaking. These are the second largest falls East of the Mississippi next to Niagara Falls with plenty of viewing available as well as a 90+ stair climbs and descent to get almost an armslength from the Upper Falls. There is camping availability at both ends of the park. I prefer the lower falls as it is less crowded even though most of the campground is open sites. The Upper Falls does have a restaurant, brewery and souvenir shop. I suggest keeping your gas tank full given you never know where you may end up site seeing and gas stations are not abundant. If you come from the West you will be fortunate to pass through the Moose capital of Michigan in Newberry, but if your lucky enough you will see one of the parks very own Moose. I suggest making a trip North East of the park taking hwy123 East to N.Whitefish Point Rd up to the Great Lakes Shipwrecked Museum. This is somewhat of a tourist trap but a sight to see and abundant information and history. The bell from the famous Edmund Fitzgerald sits in the museum and with Gordon Lightfoot's "The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald" playing in the background give you a sense of erienes. If your up for a little more adventure pass up to the Northwest and hit CR 412 and check out Crisp Point Light house. I suggest a 4 wheel drive vehicle as it is a lot of dirt and bumps, but if your into light houses you won't be disappointed with the sight and story of this beauty! There are many more lighthouses in the area but this one is special.

Waterfalls, Sernity and Camping in the North Country

If your from Wisconsin this sits at the very north of the State. If your looking for areas to visit while camping here you may have a little bit of a drive. The park features some of the best waterfalls in the State and the trails surrounding those falls can get you pretty close for some spectacular photos! The North Country Scenic Hiking runs through the park. This is the longest hiking trail in the county and stretches over 4500 miles. The park does have a beach but if you have a four legged friend with you the pet beach isn't the best as your subject to the boat landing area and isn't very inviting. You can walk through this park and never get bored of the scenes. If you like being surrounded by green this is the place! A nice park to get away from any amenities or thoughts of the city!

Great Views Great Hiking

A beautiful park with lots of history! The park entranace sits just after the High Cliff golf course for all you golfers and then follows the East side of Lake Winnebago with beautiful views of the Fox Valley area. This park features many hiking and biking trails, none of which are over exhilarating but enough for everyone at all levels. Climb spectacular cliff formations or just walk through the many cliff crevice's is something kids will remember. This park features an awesome General Store with some souvenirs to purchase and lots of information and history of the park. This can be a busy park for day walkers so the park can seem busier than it is at times. This is a popular park and can get busy but It never seems crowed unless a typical wedding reception is being held toward the North end by the observation tower. There is High Cliff Restaurant as well as a pizza, sandwich and ice cream shop with mini golf toward the entrance of the park. If you ever have the opportunity to visit this park during the month of October, this park offers an awesome trick or treat weekend where the campground woods is changed into a haunting and fun campground. Check the parks web page for exact weekend. Kids trick or treat at each campsite and the campground is transformed into a Halloween city! This is a popular event and is super busy but safe and fun for the kids and the adults! The campers go all out to have the best decorations! This event is open to the public and campers. If you plan on camping during the October weekend book early by State of Wisconsin DNR website.

One of the Best!

Much to do at Devil's Lake and surrounding area. features multiple campgrounds and multiple areas for swimming. A beach at the North and South of the lake. Both beachs have store, restaurant, and concession as well as rentals for canoe, kayak, paddle boats and boards, etc… The North features a large eat in restaurant compared to the South concession style, and the store is also larger on the North end. A LOT of hiking trails as part of the Wisconsin Ice Age Trail (this trail covers over 1200 miles across the state and the hike up to Balanced Rock is a must!!) crosses through the the park and the State of Wisconsin's only railroad tracks that you can leagaly walk on. The railroad is still active! This park sits close to the city of Baraboo and about 15 miles from the famous Wisconsin Dells/Lake Dalton area of your feeling touristsy, but you will have plenty to do at the park for a full week whether hiking, biking, swimming, or just taking in some of the most beautiful views just lying on the beach. This is Wisconsin's largest and bussiest State Park but for good reason. I am not a crowd person but this place shouldn't be missed. Get there early if you want a spot on the beach during the summer months on weekends!